Stephen N. Davis, M.B.B.S., an internationally recognized endocrinologist and research scientist, is the Theodore E. Woodward Endowed Chair and the Professor and Chairman of the Department of Medicine. Dr. Davis is also Co-Director of the University of Maryland Clinical Translational Science Institute and the Program Director of the University of Maryland General Clinical Research Center.
Dr. Davis was recruited from Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Tennessee in 2009. He leads the University of Maryland School of Medicine’s largest department, with over 300 full-time faculty members of both physicians and scientists. He is an endocrinologist who has devoted his career to research and patient care, focusing on treating adults with diabetes and metabolic disorders, as well as studying the biological basis of certain diabetes-related complications. Visit Dr. Davis' Lab
A native of the United Kingdom, Dr. Davis earned his medical degree from London University and did his specialty training at the Royal College of Physicians. Dr. Davis joined Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in 1988, where he was eventually promoted to Director of the Division of Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism, and professor of medicine, molecular physiology and biophysics. Most recently, he also served as associate director of the General Clinical Research Center at Vanderbilt, and for five years, ending in 2002, he was director of the Nashville Veterans Affairs/Juvenile Diabetes Foundation International Research and Training Center.
He has been recognized with many distinguished awards throughout his career, including the Novartis Award for Diabetes Research in 2000 - considered to be the highest honor in that field of research. He was named a Fellow of the American College of Physicians in 2009, a Fellow of the American College of Endocrinologists in 2008 and a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians in 2001.
Dr. Davis is the author of more than 110 peer-reviewed articles and 50 textbook chapters and review articles.
Dr. Davis currently leads research projects with extramural funding totaling $10 million. His research focuses on the mechanisms that defend against a falling blood glucose level, a condition known as hypoglycemia. “Hypoglycemia is the complication of diabetes that patients fear most,” explains Dr. Davis. “Complications that can be associated with diabetes include blindness, kidney failure and even coma or death.” Some diabetics suffer from frequent episodes of hypoglycemia, even as often as several times each week.
Dr. Davis’s laboratory has found areas in the brain that act to blunt the body’s ability to protect itself against hypoglycemia. Each episode of hypoglycemia triggers these areas of the brain to send out signals that make it more difficult for the body to defend itself against subsequent episodes of low glucose levels in the blood. Dr. Davis also has identified promising new treatments and interventions that counteract these mechanisms and stimulate the body’s ability to defend itself against hypoglycemia. He also explores the mechanisms that cause increased heart attacks and strokes in diabetic patients, most of whom (65 percent) die from such events.